Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Seattle Trip 2014

This past July, I visited my friend Aaron Torres and his family in Seattle. A gigantic thanks to them for letting me stay at their house, eat their food, and driving me around. Aaron works for Linden Lab, the company that builds Second Life. We have been friends since about 2002, when we went to college together in Socorro. Aaron is the co-founder of Noventum, the software company I now own. Aaron and his wife did all of the administrative work setting up Noventum, and I bought them out for about $250 so I wouldn't have to change all my stationary and business cards. We've been friends since college. Even though he lives in Seattle, Washington, and I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we still throw ideas off each other for software development, rental property and life in general.

Aaron Torres. He's hardcore. 


Hazel finally let me talk with her, and pick her up, after two days. Before that, she was very suspicious of me.

Kaylee & Hazel

My favorite part of the trip was seeing Aaron, his wife, Kaylee, and his rapidly growing daughter, Hazel. Other than seeing my buddy and his family, it was VERY cool being able to work from Linden Lab's beautiful office, walking around Seattle, doing an improvised "American Ninja Warrior" with Aaron at a kid's playground while his daughter played, going on runs, and drinking awesome beer and coffee. I really liked eating the wild raspberries that grew everywhere in Seattle.



 
These are seriously the most delicious invasive species ever.

If I were homeless in Seattle, these would be my major source of calories [until I got a job and stopped being homeless. Then it would be more efficient for me to earn money and buy groceries.]

Working (on Noventum projects) at Linden Lab was awesome. Linden let me work at their office on Thursday and Friday. They have free coffee, snacks, and on Friday lunch and beer. On Thursday, almost everyone was working from home. There was some sort of major roadway construction going on, so the office was almost empty. Linden Lab has offices on the forth or fifth story of an older, well maintained, brick building close to downtown Seattle. I worked on taxes for Noventum, and wrote some object-orientated JavaScript code for a customer. Friday everyone came in, and there was some sort of a performance evaluation celebration. It was extremely fun! After lunch, we had a video game tournament, beer, and ping pong. Aaron said that kind of festive environment only happens after their performance evaluations. After spending two days in their Seattle office, I would highly recommend working for Linden Lab (at least with regard to their corporate culture and office environment.) Aaron always talks about the cool technical challenges associated with building virtual worlds, and how his high performance computing experience helps tremendously with the issues associated with rolling out software across all of Second Life.

Aaron has a pretty sweet view from his office.


Me either paying my New Mexico gross receipts tax, or writing a bunch of object orientated JavaScript. 

Aaron and his family took me to Ikea. My old landlord constantly talks about how cool Ikea is, and really enjoys totally furnishing apartments with things from Ikea. I have never been there before, so I never really understood what anyone was talking about when they described Ikea as a place where you can get anything for an apartment, or house, without spending a ton of money. I thought Ikea was pretty cool - it does have a lot of inexpensive things that can make an apartment, or house, nice. My favorite thing there was their extremely efficient "312 square feet" apartment, in which everything was for sale.
This is the majority of the 312 square foot apartment Ikea has setup inside their store.

It was kind of amazing how efficient of a living space they were able to make. Some of the Ikea stuff (like the 'efficiency' dish drying rack attached to the wall) seems a lot cooler inside the Ikea store than it actually is. I realize that I do not have 'efficiency' sized (tiny) dishes, pots, or pans. Which means I can clean about a third of my dishes, and put them on the drying rack, and then the rack is full. It's a cool idea for saving space in your kitchen, but it doesn't exactly work for gigantic American stuff. To compensate for this, I started actually drying off my dishes before they are completely dry, and putting them away much quicker.

Ikea dish drying rack - idealized version.

Ikea dish drying rack - actual version.

Thanks again to Aaron and his family for showing me around Seattle and putting me up for the few days. Normally, I cannot stand any kind of traveling, but this trip was pretty fun. I was still able to accomplish a bit of programming and business, see my friend and his family, as well as check out Seattle. My only regret was that I was unable to see my other friends that live in Seattle at the same time.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Netbeans on Ubuntu = Requires an Advanced Computer Science Degree

I literally spend hours (about three) trying to get Netbeans 7.3 installed on Ubuntu 12.04. This is not a fun process. Netbeans crapped out while displaying "Loading cached objects" for me, after it looked like it installed perfectly using the Oracle JDK. The solution I found was:
  1. Actually, fully, installed OpenJDK. The mistake I was making here is that Ubuntu LOOKED like it installed OpenJDK, but it didn't actually finish the installation until I ran: 

     sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk
  1. Install Netbeans, using the OpenJDK installed in step #1. 

I have no idea WHY the Oracle JDK failed Netbeans, but it seems like this is a fairly common problem. Hopefully this post will help other people avoid the same dark fate as my lost three hours. 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bandojo on GreenLight

I've been working with the startup Bandojo for the past few months. Most of my involvement up to this point has almost entirely been on getting our C/C++ program to build on Windows, and now I'm doing more web development for them, and (sort of) managing an intern that is also into web development. The intern (David Heyer) suggested we submit to Steam. Since no one at Bandojo really knew what Steam was, he explained it to us, and it sounded like a great idea. So I submitted our software to Steam.

Steam sounds like a very, very cool software distribution platform. Basically, they handle all the money, all the copy protection, upgrades, and a bunch of reporting for you. They mostly sell games, but also sell other pieces of software (like our music creation application.) Getting into their store sounds like a bit of a dog and pony show though (i.e. you need to win a popularity contest before they consider you.) Since I have never been through this dog and pony show before, I have no idea how (if?) it will end.

So, if you feel like clicking "Yes" (I would buy this game if it were on Steam) then check out this link. Or send me an email if you've been through the Steam cleaner before and have any tips.

Bandojo 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Мы Пошли Праздновать С Джереми | Celebrating With Jeremy

Мой друг Джереми скоро начнёт новую работу. В данное время oн техник по взрывчатым
веществам. Через неделю он вступает в должность инженера, где он будет продолжать работать с взрывчатыми веществами.

My old friend Jeremy will start a new job. Now he works as a technician with explosives. After about a week, he'll work as an engineer (also with explosives.) He loves explosives!

Мой друг Ефран, Джереми и я пошли праздновать его новую работу. Мы стреляли из оружия дробовики. После этого мы ели в ресторане "Азума" японскую еду. В "Азума" Джереми пил алкогольный напиток сакэ бомба.

Our friend Efrain, Jeremy, and I went to celebrate his new job. First, we went to the City of Albuquerque gun range and fired shotguns. It's super fun shooting clay pigeons! We then ate at the restaurant "Azuma."

На Azuma, Джереми хотел выпить сакэ бомба
At Azuma, Jeremy wanted to drink sake bombs.



Когда я говорю "сакэ," вы говорите "бомба."
When I say "sake" you say "bomb!" 

Сакэ!?!
бомба!
Сакэ!?!?!
бомба!!!
Сакэээээээээ!?!?!
бОМБА!!!!!!

Это мой друг Ефран и его беременная жена.
This is my friend Efrain and his pregnant wife.


Это моя подруга из Ирана – Ава
This is my Iranian friend Ava.

Чем мы становимся старше, тем меньше у нас остаётся времени для встречь.

As everyone becomes older, it's hard for everyone to meet and spend time together. It was nice for the guys to celebrate.

словарь
по взрывчатым веществам - with explosives (dative case) 
с взрывчатыми веществами - with explosives (genitive case)
взрывчатые вещества - explosives (nominative case)
пришёл праздновать - went to celebrate  
Мы стреляли из оружия дробовики. - we fired guns (shotguns.)
сакэ бомба - sake bomb
беременная  - pregnant
приятно  - pleasant, nice


Friday, May 9, 2014

Russian Extra Credit - THE BLINDING LIGHT OF HISTORY

My past few posts have been in Russian, or about Russian things. As people close to me know, I have been studying Russian for about five years. Presently, I'm finishing up a class at UNM called "Russian 202" which is a second year, second semester, Russian course. I'm conversational, but definitely not fluent. I prefer to turn in assignments on my blog, which makes to polish them to a point where they are more than disposable artifacts of some academic discipline, but rather a way to communicate with people that care about me what I'm up to in my life.

This can be difficult when those people don't speak Russian. So here's one in English!

For an extra credit in my Russian class, our professor said we could check out "THE BLINDING LIGHT OF HISTORY" which is a collection of Russian paintings and drawings at UNM. I decided to check it out, and write a quick blog post about it for extra credit.

In order to see the exhibit, I needed to take an elevator from the lobby of the art museum inside Pope Joy Hall up to the second floor. As soon as I got out of the elevator, I saw the mad Russian monk, greeting me.

Rasputin. I read a biography about him, and I'm pretty certain this guy had supernatural powers. He also had Charles Manson eyes.



I also liked this one. It reminds me of Salvador Dali, my favorite painter after my sister.



I liked this one, since the camping guys remind me of my (Russian) ex-girlfriend's dad. He always likes to chill out by a fire. I see him maybe every six months, and half the time there is a fire burning outside, and all the time there is so much good food and good alcohol.

These were the three paintings I liked. Many of the other paintings seemed kind of depressing, which may have been the intention the (Soviet) artists were going for. Overall, I'm glad I quickly checked out the exhibit. I'm sort of culturally retarded, and culturally insensitive, and this kind of stuff is good for me to do every once in a while to try and grow.